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Video Game: War of the Human Tanks
War of the Human Tanks is the first game in the Japan-based series Human Tanks, Charge! developed by Yakiniku Banzai in December 2008. It was localized by Fruitbat Factory for western release September 2012. So far, it is a trilogy though the fourth game in the series was announced at Comiket 82 in August 2012.

War of the Human Tanks is a self-described story-driven strategy game where you play the role of the recently unfrozen Lieutenant Shoutaro Daihon'ei, captain of the 4th Armored Corps. You are tasked with assembling and leading an army of appropriately named Human Tanks against the Kingdom of Japon to turn around the war in favour of your own faction, the Empire of Japon, while avoiding pitfalls and plots along the way.


This game provides examples of:

  • Action Bomb: Imperial Pochi units and Kingdom Piko Piko units.
  • Ambition Is Evil: The three Lt. Generals.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Radiotoxic particles.
  • Art-Style Dissonance
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Liselotte
  • Breather Episode: Episodes 5, 8 and 11.
  • Brother-Sister Team: Choko and Shoutaro.
  • Brilliant but Lazy: Shoutaro isn't captain for no reason.
  • Brutal Bonus Level
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The 4th Armored Corps.
  • Butt Monkey: Heshiko
  • Casual Danger Dialog: Shoutaro almost always.
  • Consummate Professional: Liselotte.
  • Cool Sword: Imperial Sekigahara units and Kingdom Milua units. Miou's triples as a BFS and Laser Blade
  • Deadly Euphemism: "Fell silent."
  • Deadpan Snarker: Shoutaro especially, being both listless and sarcastic. Everyone does get a few shots in though.
  • Decapitated Army: If either side loses all of their Command Units, they instantly lose.
  • Died Happily Ever After: Every Human Tank in death believes that they were of service to their superiors and die in rapture.
  • The Empire: The Empire of Japon.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • In both Kurara route endings, Shoutaro ends up going against Imperial forces alongside the remaining Kingdom forces.
    • And in the "Daihon'ei Rebel Unit" epilogue, it turns out General B and Toyonoshima both opted to elect Shoutaro sole General of the Imperial forces (and effectively Emperor) rather than let Sasagusa (General A) seize power all for himself.
  • The Engineer: Choko
  • Evil Old Folks: General B. Also Final Boss of the "Daihon'ei Rebel Unit" ending.
  • Glory Hound: General C A.K.A Lt. General Toyonoshima, Final Boss of "The Will to Fight" ending.
  • Improbable Accessory Effect: Red Mufflers. Heshiko's account explicitly states that they allow her to recover from exploding somehow.
  • Karmic Death: Sasagusa and General B, the two main causes of the Daihon'ei siblings suffering, are both killed in some empty field far from battle in "Daihon'ei Rebel Unit".
  • Killer Rabbit: Why are we fighting Mr. Cat? Why is he kicking our collective asses?
  • The Kingdom: Averted as the Kingdom of Japon is the main opposition of the game. Subverted though, as the "true enemy" seems to be the Empire of Japon.
  • Meaningful Name: Daihon'ei was the General Headquarters for the Japanese Imperial forces pre-1945.
  • Mildly Military: The 4th Armored Corps as introduced definitely do not appear professional at all.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Shoutaro seems to regard the massive bomb deployed in Nagoya to be the tipping point in his decision to turn on the Empire, though he had already been planning on it.
  • Multiple Endings
  • Mundane Utility: Human Tanks doing laundry.
    • Human Tanks playing baseball.
  • Noodle Incident: A few show up in dialogue, though they are usually elaborated on in either main routes.
  • Nuke 'em: Shoutaro's iconic tactic, though with Pochi tanks instead of nuclear arms.
    • Radiotoxic Bomb modules
    • The massive Imperial Shock unit deployed in Nagoya.
  • Offscreen Moment of Crowning: In the "The Will to Fight" epilogue, Shoutaro is crowned Emperor of the Empire of Japon and Kurara is crowned Queen of the Kingdom of Japon.
  • The Reveal:
    • Miou was originally part of Daihon'ei's unit.
    • Shoutaro was betrayed and mortally wounded by his then-equals and only survived by becoming 20% Human Tank.
    • The Arc Speech "enemy" the Human Tanks are directed against are humans themselves by the grossly malformed Human Tank in the "Charge! Human Tanks" ending.
  • Red Baron: The General from Hell.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Human Tanks
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Human Tanks are effectively human enough to be regarded as physically stronger (though somewhat mentally deficient) humans. They are so akin to humans that Choko was able to save a dying Shoutaro by "fixing" him with parts of Human Tanks.
  • Single Tear: Pochis and Piko Pikos have them because... well.
  • Super Reflexes: Imperial Sekigahara units, Kingdom Milua units and Miou. Bonus levels take this Up to Eleven.
  • Team Chef: Liselotte.
  • Theme Naming: The Imperial Assault tank line is named after Japanese trains or pertaining to trains.
  • Too Powerful to Live: Heroic example as Shoutaro was dangerously close to being crowned Emperor after the war due to his successes so General A (Lt. General Sasagusa) set him up.
  • Turn-Based Tactics: Though turns come in real-time, commands are given in turns.
  • Undying Loyalty: Human Tanks for their superior. It doesn't matter if they don't have human rights and are considered completely disposable. All they strive and die for is praise from their superior.
    • Liselotte even discusses this with Shoutaro regarding loyalty to the country. She ends up gravely wounded in the "Charge! Human Tanks" ending by saving Shoutaro's life despite her standing orders to kill him if he were to go against the Empire.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Any Human Tank that uses a laser based weapon.
  • We Have Reserves: Losing units at most sets you back a lot of supplies, especially if equipped with modules but they can always be remade. You do have the option of developing modules to ensure their safe return.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?
  • You Have Failed Me: Sasagusa to General B in the "Daihon'ei Rebel Unit" ending.

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